Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist, released in Europe as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist and in Japan as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Return of the Shredder is a side-scrolling beat 'em up based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) franchise, and was also the first TMNT game released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.
April O'Neil is reporting from Ellis Island when, in a sudden flash of light, her audience and herself witness Manhattan Island suddenly starting to shrink. Shredder then hijacks the airwaves and announces to the world that this was only a demonstration of the power of the Hyperstone, the treasure of Dimension X. With the Hyperstone in his possession, he now has the power to take over the world. The Turtles have no choice but to go after Shredder and stop him.
The gameplay of The Hyperstone Heist is heavily based on the second Ninja Turtles arcade game, Turtles in Time, which was also released for the Super NES during the same year. The controls are similar to Turtles in Time, but the ability to dash is now assigned to a specific button and the player can no longer throw enemies towards the screen.
There are a total of five stages ("New York City", "A Mysterious Ghost Ship", "Shredder's Hideout", "The Gauntlet", and "The Final Shell Shock"), which comprise a combination of new levels created specifically for this game and ones based on levels from the first arcade game and Turtles in Time.
The bosses include Leatherhead, Rocksteady (having an attack pattern similar to the one that he had in the first arcade game), Tatsu (Shredder's right-hand man from the first two live-action films, who also appeared in TMNT: Manhattan Missions), Baxter Stockman (in his human form like in the first arcade game), Krang and Super Shredder.
The Hyperstone Heist is considered a good adaptation of the TMNT show into game form. When compared to Turtles in Time, The Hyperstone Heist features fewer but longer levels, fewer special effects, and inferior digitized voice samples, although the game features more frames of sprite animation than the SNES iteration of Turtles in Time. Though the Genesis/Megadrive has an inferior color palette when compared to the SNES, The Hyperstone Heist appears visually brighter, with a heavier use of color contrast than the SNES game, though the visuals, particularly the shading on character sprites, are overall less detailed due to this hardware limitation. The game also includes more background layers, faster and clearer sprite movement, and overall faster gameplay.
Both games share nearly the same soundtrack and sound effects, but the songs play faster in The Hyperstone Heist. Though there are fewer than half the levels in the Genesis game compared to the SNES game, each level is longer. Furthermore, The Hyperstone Heist is considered the more difficult game of the two, thanks to a more aggressive enemy AI and faster-moving gameplay.
ScrewAttack named it the 19th best Genesis game ever in their top 20 list, although they dismissed it as a direct clone of Turtles in Time, which they consider to be the best beat'em up ever.